Ichabod Woodworth: Birth: ABT 1632. Death: 1768
Elizabeth Woodworth: Birth: ABT 1641.
Sarah Woodworth: Birth: ABT 1643.
Note: WALTER WOODWORTH was born in England in about 1612, and died in Scituate, Plymouth Colony, early in 1686; parentage unknown. He is the primary ancestor of most of the Woodworths in America, although it is rumored that a brother also immigrated. He married about 1639/40. No record has been found of his wife's name. She was living in March 1676, but had died by 26 November 1685, when Walter made his Will, naming ten children. Some have speculated that Walter married Elizabeth Rogers, the daughter of Thomas Rogers of the "Mayflower." Elizabeth Daniel, authoress of Thomas Rogers, Pilgrim and Some of His Descendants, 1980, states, "Whether Thomas Rogers really had a daughter Elizabeth at all is a matter of theory. There are records in Leyden, Holland, that suggest that two daughters lived there with their mother, but there is no absolute proof. Whether one or both of these possible daughters ever came to America, we don't know....” Walter may have indentured himself for a time in order to pay his passage expenses, as the records do mention Walter as having "come as a servant" to Plymouth Colony. Plymouth Court Records of 2 Jan. 1633/4 order "that whereas by indenture many are bound to give their servants land at the expiration of their terms, it is ordered that they have it at Scituate or some other convenient place, where it may be useful." That land given to Walter is shown on a map below on this web page. There is no record of his presence on any of the many ships which sailed from England to the Colonies in the 17th century. Many early Scituate settlers were from County Kent in England, and it has been thought that Walter may have come from there as well, perhaps as one of Rev. John Lothrop's followers from Edgerton in Kent. Rev. Lothrop, first pastor of the church in Scituate, arrived in Boston, Sept. 1634 on the "Griffin," with some 30 members of his congregation, both from London and Kent. This was six months after Walter is first recorded in Plymouth Colony. Walter's parents, birth location, and where he grew up are unknown. Speculation that his parents were Thomas and Elizabeth (Tyson) Woodward of Childwell Parish, Lancashire, England is not only unfounded, but highly improbable. That couple had seven children, and no child was named "Walter". One of their children was a Dr. Henry Woodward, physician, who migrated to Northampton, MA. Walter signed his name with an "X" on his will, indicating that he was uneducated. It is highly unlikely Thomas and Elizabeth would highly educate one child and not educate the other at all. That and the fact the couple had no children by the name of Walter should end the speculation. Additionally, migrations tended to consist of groups from one locale. Walter, in the colonies, was with "The Men of Kent" of Scituate, suggesting that he may have come from that same Kent locale, not Lancashire far to the north. A member of the Woodworth mail list has found in Canterbury Cathedral, located in Kent, a listing of a child named "Walter Woodward" born 1610. It did not state which parish nor the parents, but of all the "Walters" in England, this find is the best yet for our Walter. The task now is for someone to discover which Kent parish this Walter's records are in.(Source - http://members.aol.com/wildwudy/pubpage.htm) The Will of Walter Woodworth Walter's will, found in Plymouth, MA, in the late 1800s, provides much information. A map is available showing seven properties that he owned in Seconet mentioned in the will. Seconet is south of Scituate, MA. I In the name of God, Amen. I, Walter Woodward, of Scituate, in the jurisdiction of New Plymouth in New England, in America, being weak in body, but of sound mind and perfect memory, praise to Almighty God for the same, do make this my last will and Testament in manner as followeth: First, and most principally, I commend my soul into the hands of Almighty God, my creator, in and through Jesus Christ, my only Saviour and Redeemer, and my body unto decent and ... burial at the discretion of my executors with the advice of the rest of my sons hereafter named. And my temporal estate I dispose of as hereafter followeth: Imprimis. I give and bequeath unto Thomas Woodward, my eldest son, a parcel of upland containing five acres, lying in Scituate aforesaid, bounded by the lands of Henry Ewell on the south and the Common on the north, to be enjoyned to him and his heirs forever. Item: I give unto my two sons, Thomas and Joseph, ten acres of Marsh land, to be equally divided between them, which lyeth by Suzons - bounded by the Marsh of Anthony Collimer on the east, by the Marsh of Thomas Clap, deceased, on the north, in Scituate aforesaid to be enjoyned to them and their heirs forever. Item: I give to Thomas Woodward, my son, one-third part of all my land at Seconet which I purchased. The other two-thirds I give unto my two sons, Benjamin and Isaac Woodward, to be equally divided between them, to be enjoyned to them and their heirs forever, excepting twenty-five acres, of which I do give unto my son Joseph, to be enjoyned to him and his heirs forever. Ten acres of which I do give unto my daughter, Martha, to her, her heirs forever, of which two quantities of land is to be deducted out of the two-thirds of my land lying at Seconet given to my two sons, Benjamin and Isaac aforesaid. All the rest of my land at Seconet, which is yet to be purchased, I give unto my two sons, Thomas and Joseph Woodward, to be divided equally between them, to be enjoyned to them and their heirs forever. Item: I give to Benjamin, my son aforesaid, my dwelling-house with my barns and other outhousing, with all my land, both upland and marshland thereunto belonging, that is to say, twenty acres of upland, be it more or less bounded by land of John Turner to the west and by land of Joseph Otis to the east and six acres of marshland more or less bounded by the land of Joseph Otis to the north east, and by the first herring brook towards the south -- all of which said housings and land with all the appurtenances thereof, the commons and privileges thereunto belonging I give to the said Benjamin, my son, his heirs forever, always provided upon condition that my son, Benjamin, aforesaid, do pay and allow the sum of seventy pounds unto my son, Joseph, and my six daughters, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Mehitabel and Abigail, ten pounds apiece, to be paid to them at three payments, viz, one-third part of the said seventy pounds to be paid to my said children within three years after my decease and the other two-thirds to be paid in the two following years, that is to say -- in each year a third of the said sum of seventy pounds, and each payment to be paid, the one-half in silver and the other half to be paid in corn and cattell. Further, my will is that my son Benjamin, aforesaid, do allow my two daughters, Mehitabel and Abigail, the lower room or parlor at the northeasterly end of my dwelling house aforesaid, for their use during the time they do live unmarried. Item: I give and bequeath unto my said two daughters, Mehitabel and Abigail, my feather bed with the furniture thereunto belonging and all the rest of my houshold goods I give unto my six daughters, Sarah, Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Mehitabel and Abigail, to be divided equally among them. The rest of my estate undisposed of by this my last will and testament, I give and bequeath to all my children, all my debts, funeral expenses being first paid, to be equally divided amongst them , Item: I do constitute and appoint my son, Benjamin, aforesaid, the sole executor of this my last will and testament, whom I do appoint my to sons, Thomas and Joseph Woodard, overseers of this my last will and testament. In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal the twenty six day of November, 1685. The Mark of WALTER WOODWARD X Signed, sealed and acknowledged in presence of: THEO. KING, Senior, THOMAS PALMER, CHARLES STOCKBRIDGE (Source - http://members.aol.com/wildwudy/pubpage.htm) He was either a Puritan or a Congregationalist. Family’s No. 1 ancestor shrouded in mystery; Woodworth clan finds controversy, even over spelling of their last name By DIANA SCHOBERG The Woodworth clan knows that Walter Woodworth was their first ancestor in the United States. But the rest of the story is less clear. Walter Woodworth was born in England in 1612 and died in Scituate in 1686. One legend has it that he came to America on the ‘‘Mary and John’’ in 1630, one of eleven ships bringing supplies to the Puritans in Plymouth. Another story says that he arrived in Boston with the Rev. John Lothrop, Scituate’s first pastor , in September 1634. But that’s six months after his name was first recorded in Plymouth, according to the 1988 book ‘‘The Woodworth Family of America.’’ Regardless, there’s no record of Woodworth’s name on any of the ships that sailed from England to the colonies in the 17th century, the book says. He may have come to the country as an indentured servant to pay for his travel expenses - some records refer to him as ‘‘a servant,’’ and others say that in 1640 he became a freeman. In 1645 he was appointed surveyor of highways in Scituate, which means he helped lay out the town’s roads. Woodworth owned property on Kent Street across from Meeting House Lane and on First Herring Brook near Stockbridge Mill. The Old Oaken Bucket homestead, which his great-great-grandson Samuel made famous, is on property he owned as well. Woodworth was married and had 10 children at the time of his death. He is believed to be buried in the Men of Kent cemetery near the harbor in Scituate. Even the last name Woodworth is uncertain. Woodworth himself couldn’t write and signed his name by mark, according to the 1988 book by Jeanette Woodworth Behan. His will and some records list his name as Woodward, while others say Woodard, Woodart or Woodworth. Story has it that Walter Woodworth’s support of a controversial Puritan pastor may have caused family members who disagreed to change the name to Woodworth, according to information from the Public Archives of Nova Scotia on file at the Scituate Historical Society. One son, who was the executor of the will, signed his name Woodworth. Copyright 2006 The Patriot Ledger Transmitted Saturday, February 11, 2006 http://members.cox.net/wallywood/canterbury-microfiche/index.htm - website info. By Mar 1634, Walter, "having come as a servant" is believed to have worked off his indentureship, had land, and was single.
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